The United Nations held its 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) in New York March 4-15, the largest annual commission at the UN and one that is often a reunion of like-minded feminist groups. At this conference, chaired by Marjon V. Kamara from Liberia, representatives from hundreds of registered NGOs joined delegations from dozens of member states to discuss and negotiate a resolution on the priority theme, the “elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.”
Last year at CSW56, the push to include controversial terms by several member states, led by the United States, Canada, and the European Union, was strongly opposed during negotiations and, as a result, the commission failed to reach a consensus document. This was considered to be a pro-life victory. This year, however, the same pro-abortion camp kicked off their campaign by promising to do everything in their power to avoid repeating last year’s failed attempt at instituting an international “right to abortion.”
The battle however was not one sided. Representatives from pro-life organizations with NGO status such as Campaign Life Coalition, Real Women of Canada, the Life Ethics Association, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Family Watch International, United Families International, and the National Right to life Committee (to name a few) were there to assist those delegations who refused to be bullied into adopting controversial language.
Throughout the week, daily plenary sessions and side events sponsored by various UN agencies, country delegations, and NGOs provided an opportunity for participants to share strategies on how to combat key issues. Female genital mutilation, rape in conflict zones, domestic violence and human trafficking were all genuine problems that were raised. It didn’t take long however for these concerns to be overshadowed by a constant demand for “legal abortion as the only solution to ending violence against women.”
Michelle Bachalet, the executive director of UN Women and former president of Chile, spoke at daily sessions, preaching on the importance of “reproductive rights” as a means of ending violence against women.
Many UN Agencies and pro-abortion NGOs claim that the term “reproductive rights” includes the right to abortion and contraception on demand, however it is important to know that an “international right to abortion” does not exist.
Bachalet’s push for radical abortion language in the final document was no secret. “Wherever she was, she would repeat the same propaganda, over and over and over again,” said Natalia Gdula, a university student from Canada who joined a group of young adults representing Campaign Life Coalition at the commission. “Women from developing nations want economic stability, access to education, clean water, basic health care for them and their children,” Gdula said, “and yet all these genuine concerns were overshadowed by a constant call for abortion access as the answer to their pleas.”
Furthermore, pro-abortion NGOs and UN agencies claimed that the denial, obstruction and withdrawal of access to “reproductive rights” and legal abortion is in itself a form of violence against women.
“According to them, killing babies in the womb (many of who are females) and leaving the would-be mothers with lifelong side-effects and complications is not violence against women,” Matthew Wojciechowski, another CLC representative at the United Nations told The Interim. “Alternatively restricting access to this lethal ‘reproductive health’ procedure is.”
Wojciechowski added: “There are 200 million girls missing in the world because of legal abortion and infanticide and these UN radicals called for more bloodshed under the guise of ‘reproductive rights.’ You would think that condemning sex-selective abortion, the most extreme form of violence and discrimination against females, would be a priority issue in ending violence against women, but no.”
On March, 15 at 6:30pm, with no consensus reached by member states, a chairman’s text was brought forward, bringing the commission to an end. Even though some delegations voiced their reservations, this text was declared final. In the end, disputed terms such as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” were left out but “sexual and reproductive health,” “reproductive rights,” and “safe abortion” remained. Although, pro-life NGOs are relieved that CSW57 failed to once again declare a “right to abortion,” the inclusion of so many other problematic terms and paragraphs will make future meetings even more challenging for those NGOs and delegates who want to uphold the dignity of every human being.
UN representative and director of Latino outreach for National Right to Life Raimundo Rojas insists that these documents are not international law. “The CSW outcome agreement is a non-binding document; it has no legal standing anywhere,” said Rojas. “It can only be misinterpreted and then used by UN agencies and radical pro-abortion NGOs to try and browbeat countries into changing protective pro-life laws.”